Poetic Justice

Quotes and Photos from the ABC/Maha Documentary,
"The Stair Case."

Caitlin: I did consider Martha and Margaret my sisters and my mother considered them her daughters, but my goal, my strength in life is completely opposite -- it's in seeking justice for my mother. That's what I'm here for.

Margaret: It's so frustrating to sit there in court and know the answers to things that Jim Hardin is, "ooo this, or ooo there's blood there, or ooo this" when you've lived it every day of your life and you know exactly why it's there, but you can't say anything.

Margaret: I think dad was really, really, really lucky to find -- you know -- his true love.

Margaret: Maybe there was more blood than people want to remember, but the bottom line is I just don't care, like -- it happened 18 years ago and our Dad had nothing to do with it, and there's nothing that they've said that ties Dad to anything negative, so it just doesn't make any sense.

Margaret: You know, the D.A.'s trying to say, basically, that our Dad killed our birth-mother and our mother, but where are we sitting? We're sitting behind our Dad.

Todd: I never knew my father to be happy until she came along. She made a family out of nothing. She had a wonderful marriage with my father, and she took in Martha and Margaret and made them her own daughters. She is the single greatest source of happiness to the people that I hold so close to me.

Clayton: Well I went downstairs -- first thing I did I looked in the car, I looked in the trunk then I looked around at the side cause that's where the tools are -- and uh, I came around the other side, and I just saw it there -- so then I went and got uh, Margaret and uh, brought her down just to make sure cause, I couldn't believe it was just sitting right there . . . and then we went upstairs to get Dad.

Rudolf: I mean here's the truth, the two or three points the jury's gonna trip the most on is -- how the fuck do you get these many lacerations in these locations from falling down the stairs?

Rudolf: (To Guy Seaberg about his multimedia display) It's 7:20 the night before my opening and you're fucking around with this. . . . I don't give a shit if we're here all fucking night.

: And then just before we closed our case, one of those things happened that every defense lawyer dreams about happening in a case that never happens -- but in this case it did.

Rudolf: If there's not just reasonable doubt in this case, then I don't understand what I'm doing -- and so when the jury came in, it didn't just disappoint me, it shook the foundations of my beliefs -- it just it blew me away emotionally and psychologically.

Peterson: There's a trial because of Candace and Caitlin. If Caitlin had said "I know Mike, he raised me for 13 years, Mike would never have hurt my mother" -- and she DID say this in the beginning -- and if Candace had said "Oh, I knew them, they were a loving couple," and if she'd continued to say that, there would have been no trial.

Peterson: (proposing a toast) And this is of course to Bill . . . and there's a lesson here, and it's for you guys -- because I could not have gotten through this without my brother, and I of course will be there for him, soon I suppose, when he's incontinent and slobbering, but it's a wonderful lesson for you and your brother -- and for your sisters and your brothers and it goes to -- la familia.

Peterson: I'm a monogamous person, in the sense that I don't -- there was Kathleen. She took up my whole life. Could I have sex? Yes -- that could exist but not a relationship. I could not, you know -- go to dinner or have a... no, that would be inconceivable -- because she fulfilled all of that, and actually fulfilled, certainly sexual -- but there was this other aspect -- of me, that just existed.

Peterson: I think Liz died a perfectly natural death, I don't think anybody did it, but if somebody DID do it, well it sure as hell wasn't me!

Peterson: (about testifying) It would be probably, infinitely, more negative in the long run -- so drop it.

Peterson: I didn't do anything. I am innocent. I did not believe, until the jury clerk read the sentence, that I would be convicted. My immediate reaction was -- let's end it. And I told David that I didn't want an appeal. I wanted it just ended, right now, forget it. Enough was enough. We had all suffered enough, and that wonderful -- that awful line from ROMEO AND JULIET that, "All are punished." . . . I don't know what we were being punished for. I don't know why my children had to suffer what they did, why they were being punished, but I did feel that -- let this end -- right now.

Hardin: From what we've found -- every aspect of Mike Peterson's life was a lie.